Men's Basketball Opens Regular Season In SEFCU Arena
|UAlbany Great Danes (0-0) vs. Duquesne Dukes (0-0)|
THE STARTING FIVE
1. For Openers
UAlbany is 36-23 since the 1952-53 season in season openers, losing its previous five meetings. From the 1972-73 season opener to the 1986-87 season opener, the Great Danes strung together 15 straight season-opening wins, all under UAlbany Hall of Fame head coach Richard "Doc" Sauers.
2. Opening The Season At SEFCU
Since the 1992-93 season, UAlbany is 5-2 all-time at the SEFCU Arena in home season openers, formerly known as the Recreation and Convocation Center (RACC). When moving to Division 1 in 1999, the Great Danes are 1-2 at SEFCU in season home openers with its lone win over Bucknell on Nov. 11, 2006, 55-49, who were receiving top-25 votes at the time.
3. Versus the Atlantic 10
UAlbany has faced five of the current 16 members of the A-10 with a career record of 3-10. The Great Danes have played Duquesne (0-1), Fordham (0-1), UMass (2-1), St. Bonaventure (1-4), Virginia Commonwealth (0-2, previously a member of the CAA) and Xavier (0-1).
4. Great Dane Captains
UAlbany, for the first time in program history, will have four gameday captains, which was announced by head coach Will Brown back in early August. Headlining the group of four is Blake Metcalf, who will a UAlbany captain for the third time in his career as a Great Dane. Seniors Mike Black, Jacob Iati, and junior Luke Devlin complete the four-man captain group.
5. Fresh Faces
Three new members come aboard the men's basketball squad. Junior guard's DJ Evans from East Mississippi, Gary Johnson from Oxnard (Calif.) and junior forward Dave Wiegmann from Southwestern Illinois all look to make an immediate impact transferring from their respective Junior Colleges.
UALBANY VS. DUQUESNE NOTES
Jim Ferry (Keene State ‘90) is 254-168 in 14 years as a collegiate head coach. This is his first season at Duquesne as the head coach. Before Duquesne, Ferry spent 10 years at LIU-Brooklyn where he accrued a 150-149 record and brought the Blackbirds to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
This is just the second meeting between the two squads. UAlbany has faced an Atlantic-10 opponent 13 times in its history. Duquesne leads the series 1-0.
The first meeting between UAlbany and Duquesne was on Nov. 14, 1998 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Great Danes were in their final season as a Division II school before moving up to Division I.
Duquesne held a slight eight-point lead, 28-20, at halftime. The Dukes would take control in the second half, going off for 45 points and hold the Great Danes to just 23 points.
Then-UAlbany captain Todd Centar led his squad with 16 points and six rebounds.
• Duquesne, like UAlbany, was victim to losing top offensive players, two to graduation and three to transfer. The Dukes biggest loss came with the departure of 2011 A-10 Rookie of the Year T.J McConnell transferring to Pac-12's Arizona.
• The Dukes will rely heavily on top returning scorer senior guard Sean Johnson. Johnson has tallied 900 points in his career at Duquesne. In the 2011-12 season, Johnson was either the team's leading or co-leading scorer in nine of the 31 total games.
• On the road in 2011-12, Duquesne struggled by recording four wins in 13 games. Of those four wins, the Dukes won just one game out of conference out of five.